Feeling stuck is inevitable—there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it!
When you feel stuck, it feels like you’ve lost control, like there isn’t anything you can do that could possibly get you out of the place you’re in. But no matter how permanent being stuck may feel, it is only temporary, and you have the power to transform your circumstances. Today, we’re going to talk about how to get unstuck.
And you’re not alone. After almost every class I teach and speech I give, someone from the audience comes up and expresses their frustration and confusion. What’s wrong with me? They ask. Why can’t I make any headway? This is where they usually blurt out, I feel stuck!
When you’re stuck, it’s easy to lose track of your own dreams and desires. That’s because being stuck confounds us. We used to be so clear, so focused, but now we’re riddled with self-doubt. It’s so easy to feel frozen or worry that life is passing us by.
Being stuck may feel like you’ve lost sight of your life purpose. Or it may cause you to prioritize the needs of family members over your own so that you don’t feel useless. After all, it’s easy to get sucked into helping someone else achieve their dream while your own feels like it’s dying on the vine. We all want to contribute and matter and be valued, so if you aren’t clear on what your dream is, you might as well help someone who is, right?
The last time I was stuck—oh yes, I have felt stuck multiple times in the past😓—I didn’t trust my decisions, couldn’t hear my intuition, and was nervous that I would never find a way to escape the overwhelming feeling that I was not good enough.
But with all my experience being stuck, I now realize I was simply at a crossroads. A crossroads I couldn’t identify or was scared to face because I feared any decision I made would be the wrong one. And, it must be said, every time we’re stuck, part of the solution will be taking a risk.
Learn how taking risks can actually be a good thing—and often a necessary step in reaching your goals.
Why You’re Stuck
Before I provide you with six steps to get unstuck, let’s talk for a brief moment about why you might be stuck. Ask yourself
- Is there a decision that is overwhelming you, so instead of deciding, you just don’t decide anything?
- Is there some part of your life that you’re unhappy with but haven’t been willing to admit it?
- Are you hiding something about yourself—a secret, maybe—that you’re terrified will be discovered because it might harm the status quo?
- Have you been compromising your values?
- Are you refusing to take action because you either don’t know how to take the risk, are scared people won’t approve, or because you’re worried you’ll fail?
- Are you afraid you’re not good enough to actualize your dream, achieve your goal, or be loved for who you are?
- Do you have a relationship that is not healed and brings up feelings of guilt, shame, or humiliation?
- Do you stay busy guessing what everyone else wants you to do, or do you ask a thousand people before you decide anything?
- Is the life you have been living not the right life for you anymore?
- Are you waiting for someone else to give you permission to make that important decision or take that risk?
We get stuck because we are, in fact, stuck. Stuck between a rock and a hard place. Stuck not knowing what to do next. Stuck between taking the safe route or the risky one. Stuck between keeping someone’s love or feeling like we will lose them forever. Stuck between living your best, most brilliant self and stalling out on your dreams. Stuck between the past and the future.
Being stuck is a wakeup call. It’s asking you to choose who you’re going to be. But the irony is when we feel stuck, making decisions feels like the hardest thing to do.
So, let’s change the definition of stuck. From now on, I want you to think of being stuck as being at a crossroads. You’ll soon discover that making a decision when you’re feeling stuck will not be as difficult as it once was.
I get that being stuck might feel scary, but take a big, long moment to consider your life. And I mean ALL of it—your family life, your personal life, your relationships, your career, your hobbies, your goals, and your dreams.
This is your moment, your chance to change anything and everything. That’s the gift stuck gives you. Stuck forces you to stop and decide to walk in faith towards a future you can’t see yet.
Ask yourself: Are you fulfilled? Are you happy? Are you living the life your soul intended?™
Be ruthlessly honest with yourself.
Here’s the truth: Being stuck doesn’t mean staying stuck. Life is far too short to feel stuck and unhappy about the place you’re in day after day. But the good news is you can break free from anything that is holding you back. Simple changes will help you build the life you want to be living piece by piece. And I can show you how because, boy—years ago, I was stuck in the widest, deepest, darkest rut imaginable.
I’ll share six strategies that will help you spark positive changes in your life. No matter your particular situation, making a few difficult but necessary changes can create a more fulfilling life—one you’re proud to live, and one that makes you look forward to waking up in the morning.
So, what are the six steps to get unstuck?
How to Get Unstuck in 6 Steps
1. Don’t Wait for External Forces
Stop waiting for that magical something to occur. How many times have you said…
“I’ll do that when…”
“I’m waiting for…”
“If only I had…”
“When I have more money…”
“When my kids grow up and leave the house…”
“When I have more time…”
Does any of that sound familiar to you? I bet it does! If you’ve said any of those things or something similar to yourself before, it’s time for a wakeup call. These external forces are completely beyond your influence, so when you’re waiting on things outside of your control, you lose just that—control.
You are no longer in charge of your own narrative because you’re waiting for other people, forces, and things in the universe to align for you. Imagine your life is a novel and you’re its author. Waiting on external forces is like handing your masterpiece over to someone else and saying, “write whatever you like!”
I’m sorry to break it to you, but the universe is never going to align perfectly for you. To get unstuck, you need to understand what’s inside your circle of control and what’s outside your circle of control. When you rely on external forces, you surrender your control, which makes it very difficult to find happiness or make progress on your goals. You can’t drive a car from the backseat!
You can change your narrative through the choices you make. You have the power to decide how to live each day. You can decide how you react to all of life’s ups and downs. You are deciding, right now, the future you want to build for yourself.
In order to truly get unstuck, stop waiting for all of those “I’ll do it when X happens…” X may never happen. You are the only factor that really matters.
2. Stop Relying on Excuses
Excuses, excuses—they excuse your potential and let you off the hook.
Excuses are so difficult to overcome because of how real they feel. Our excuses stem from aspects of our lives that are very real. Having no money in the bank feels very real. Not feeling loved or like you could ever be loved feels very real.
But that’s the thing about excuses—they feel real because they are grounded in a seed of truth. But then we take that seed of truth and let it grow until it festers into an overgrown garden of excuses.
Because excuses feel so real, we get extra defensive about them. You might lash out when someone pushes back on one of your excuses. You may say things like, “you don’t understand me,” or “you have no idea what I’m going through.” These types of replies, once again, take your power away and build evidence that your excuse is real and unmovable.
I have a friend named Marta, and I love her dearly, but boy, was I tired of hearing about the show she was one day going to put on! First, she couldn’t find the perfect venue. Then she couldn’t find the perfect music. Next, the dates didn’t align the way she was hoping.
One day, I finally had to look her in the eye and say, “You will never put on this show.”
Since elements of her show weren’t PERFECT yet, she was refusing to put it on. She was using this search for perfection as an excuse to stay stuck in what was familiar—as an excuse to ensure she did not fail.
Her fear of failure had taken over; she was allowing herself to make excuse after excuse. Was it true that the venue wasn’t perfect? Probably. Was it true that a different month of the year might be better? Maybe. These were real concerns, but by turning each minor issue into an excuse, all she did was push her dreams further and further into the future.
Our excuses come from a real place, and that’s precisely why they’re so insidious. Both of my parents really did die in the span of a single moment right in front of me. I could use this fact to create any number of excuses for myself—excuses for putting off my education, for treating others poorly, or for relying on alcohol to numb my pain.
“Well, you don’t understand what happened to me” could be my excuse for doing or not doing absolutely anything for the rest of my life.
The Wheel of Fear convinces us that some form of what happened in the past will happen to us again. We will fail, we will be rejected, or we will be hurt. But by falling into the trap of your excuses, you take away your courage and the ability to live your destiny.
3. Treat Yourself With Compassion…
Being stuck in our professional or personal lives is a tough place to be, and often, we’re the hardest on ourselves during these times. But you’ll continue to be stuck in that rut if you’re not encouraging, kind, and compassionate toward yourself.
Treat yourself with compassion throughout your journey. The more difficult of a time you’re having, the more compassion is required.
Now, I’m not suggesting you completely let yourself off the hook for anything and everything (more on that in my next point ⬇️), but a little compassion can go a long way. The next time you put yourself down, either in your head or in front of other people, take a step back and look at the situation through the lens of compassion. If the same situation was happening to someone you love, would you have the same harsh words or insults for them?
Not very good at giving yourself compassion? I get it. People who are attracted to Fearless Living are usually the type who suck it up and work hard and tend to be overly responsible. So let me give you a simple way to increase your compassion: practice being kind to yourself.
4. … But Don’t Let Yourself Off the Hook
Leading with compassion does not mean letting yourself off the hook whenever things get tough. If you’re truly going to commit to getting unstuck, you’ll have to put in the work.
Be accountable to yourself for the goals you set and the changes you want to make because if you don’t hold yourself accountable, no one else will. You won’t have teachers chasing after you or parents telling you what to do—the changes you want to make are all up to you. Of course, the Fearless Living community will always be there to answer questions, listen, and guide you throughout your journey, but it’s up to you to hold yourself accountable.
“No one can be fearless alone!”
Now, I know we can often be our own toughest critics, so don’t mistake not letting yourself off the hook with beating yourself up whenever things don’t go exactly as planned. Holding yourself accountable does not mean holding yourself up to an unreasonable, “perfect” standard, and it is not a license to insult yourself; being accountable to yourself simply means committing and showing up as best you can each and every day.
As I always say: “Do what you can the best you can when you can.”
5. Free Yourself With Forgiveness
I’d like to take a moment to talk about forgiveness in the context of being stuck. Forgiveness is a huge topic, and one I know well. Don’t worry; it’s one I’ll cover in much more detail in future posts. For now, I just want to talk about how forgiveness (or lack thereof, I should say) keeps us stuck in the past.
As you work toward loosening the grip fear has on you so that you can get unstuck, there’s a good chance forgiveness is going to come up. What grudges are you holding onto? What hurts or pains are you afraid to forgive? Denying forgiveness means carrying all of the negativity, pain, unhealthy thought patterns, and moments from your past with you wherever you go. And all of that baggage makes getting yourself unstuck all the more difficult; after all, carrying all of that baggage everywhere is HEAVY! 😓
Here’s the thing about forgiveness—it doesn’t require you to work absolutely everything out with the other person. It doesn’t mean you have to sort through every one of your differences or relive a trauma from your past. And it definitely doesn’t mean you need to bring that person back into your life. Heck, you can forgive without ever talking to the person you know you need to forgive. (This was true for me when I forgave my father.) What so many of us get wrong about forgiveness is that it has nothing to do with the other person. Forgiveness has everything to do with yourself.
You choose whether or not you are able to forgive. Forgiveness is never easy, but the more you can free yourself from the chains of your past and forgive the people in your life, the more space you’ll have to focus on your future. Then, you can focus your energy on getting unstuck and building the life you actually want to live.
6. Be Willing
The last and arguably most important step to getting unstuck is to be willing. No one can make you change. And the more they try, the more you will resist, whether you realize it or not. Change must come from within, and it must begin with you being willing (even if you don’t feel like it).
Your ability to get unstuck comes down to whether or not you are willing to show up for yourself day after day. Are you ready and willing to take the leap necessary to move forward? Are you willing to put in the hard work to change how you see your circumstances? Are you willing to get outside of your comfort zone and build your self-confidence? Are you willing to listen to your needs and honor those needs? Are you willing to befriend the fears that are keeping you from living the life your soul intended?™
How Do You Get Unstuck Fast?
Getting unstuck is a journey that requires continual effort—but it does get easier. And you can fast track your journey by joining a community dedicated to helping each other get unstuck.
With Fearless Living, you can skyrocket your progress to get unstuck fast. How? By cracking the secret code to fear. Fear is what’s holding you back and keeping you stuck.
My 10-week Fearless Living Training Program will help you get out of your comfort zone, confront your fears, and begin living the life your soul intended. ™
You’ll learn how to treat yourself with compassion without letting yourself off the hook, navigate negative thoughts and the same old routines, find peace, and much more. It’s time to take the leap!